Technology: Friend or Foe

August 21st, 2018

When you blindly see technology as an “end” in of itself, not a “means” to a more impressive client experience, greater productivity, reduced risk and so on, you self-limit your own power and control. Think about that for a minute. 

Profitable Growth Seeds

October 16th, 2018

Profitable Growth Seeds

Sometimes what seems obvious to us is a “breakthrough” idea or concept when applied to another person’s condition. Our challenge is having the courage to point it out and the skill to articulate the meaningful benefits for them. Can you spot something obvious today that is immediately useful and relevant for your best clients?    

Blind Partnerships

October 15th, 2018

If you are dumb enough to refuse a replacement, the time to build trust, which has been integral to your partnership, alliance or consortium’s success, you better have something so desirable others are willing to bet “blind”. That is a luxury very few organisations ever have. Or then again perhaps you have close to zero interest in your partners’ future or in finding a replacement.

Escaping The Bubble

October 12th, 2018

Escaping The Bubble     

Are you aware of the “bubble” that you live in and the consequences of staying exclusively in it? (beliefs, attitudes, behaviours)

If you are aware, what “checks and balances” do you have in place to help you appreciate the lives that others lead and the views that they hold that don’t conform to your own? (diverse experiences, travel, sources of advice, learning)

If you are not, what are you going to do tomorrow to help yourself? (speak to peers, identify sources and opportunities for diverse learning and development).

Some of the most successful people I meet (executives, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, creative types) make demands of others or hold views that defy common sense. My observation is that they have long insisted on hanging out with a crowd, who are a mirror-image of themselves (clubs, parties, events). They refuse to put themselves in other’s shoes and when they do, they end up with “warped reality” (global perspective).   

Negotiating Change

October 12th, 2018

If you insist on telling me my discretionary time, my personal interests and my enjoyment must be curtailed BEFORE we conceptually agree a plan for an improved set of conditions, you weaken not strengthen your negotiating position.    

In Good Company

October 9th, 2018

If you are an entrepreneur wanting to attract the highest quality investors,  people, business partners and so forth, think about the company you are keeping. Am I spending time with gatekeepers, window shoppers or real buyers/investors of my product, service and relationships? Does the event or platform put me in rarefied company or am I circling around with a largely undifferentiated crowd? Will my presence and affiliation with the audience dramatically build my brand or have a negligible impact?     

Where is the hard evidence or observed behaviour to validate my judgement?

It is myth that any “exposure” is a valuable use of our time. That is rubbish. If you are not in front of a high proportion of your target audience, decline the invite with a simple “No”. You don’t need to explain yourself, you do need to avoid wasting time talking to the wrong people.

Etiquette

October 8th, 2018

If you are a 50 year old man or woman and you cannot hold a knife and fork correctly, irrespective of culture, in polite company, why should you and your views be taken seriously? I don’t care about your wealth, your “past” or your approach to standard behavioural norms.  

Conspiracy Theorists

October 8th, 2018

For some people, there is a conspiracy theory behind everything today (Kavanaugh, Trump, the crooked jockey). The Oxford English Dictionary defines a conspiracy theory, as “A belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event.” Have you ever heard any hard evidence or observed behaviour supporting 99% of these theories? If, like me, you see it as a “cop out” by the uneducated not wishing to invest time educating themselves, we do an injustice if we don’t simply walk away.

 

Minority Investment Sense

October 2nd, 2018

Smart Search

If you are a F1 or NASCAR motor racing team forced into a line-up change, by a key team member wanting “out”, your logical thought process is find, pick and win with an ideal replacement. It is not how much the replacement might pay us for the role unless you are so poorly funded that you have surrendered power and control over your team’s future (witness the “also rans” on the F1 grid).

The same logic applies when a seller seeks to realise a minority investment in a private company investment. Yet a great many advisors and investors, particularly with highly ambiguous and moderate growth businesses, insist on a flawed logic, secure a symbolic price before entering meaningful discussions with the key constituents. Perhaps that polishes their “ego” but it is rarely meaningful or immediately useful to the seller (quick and impressive exit).

In the absence of peer-level trusting partner, you are looking at pseudo sale success. 

Uncommon Market Attraction

September 19th, 2018

The Secret of A Seductive Rapport

When business or investor prospects are drawn to your intellect, social interaction and your communication style, the relationship moves to a depth of reciprocal trust and respect where doing business together becomes “probable”, not  “possible”. Counterintuitively, you get to that point, not by submerging business prospects in everything there is to know about you (marketing collaterals, credentials, deals) but impressively answering what the prospect wants to know.

You help yourself in advance, by visualising where you want the conversation to end up, the obstacles that might lie ahead, and natural responses to keep your conversation on track with maximum momentum.

You help yourself after the conversation, by examining what worked well and you can repeat successfully next time you meet, what didn’t work well and what you must improve when in the same situation.  

   

Legacy Trumps Opinions

September 18th, 2018

Everyone has an opinion about something today (Trump, Brexit, societal changes) and when given a large platform (social or public media), the barrage of people “shouting” about something, is at times deafening, and largely wasted. In death, as I was reminded at a close friend’s funeral yesterday, the only score that counts is what you have positively contributed to the lives of the people around you and beyond (“legacy”).